Note: This is part 14 in a series of posts which make up the chapters of a tongue-in-cheek look at the game of disc golf and why we love it so much. It is not actually intended to improve your game…unless it does…in which case we’re happy to take the credit.
Chapter 14 – How to Carry Your Plastic
It doesn’t take long before new disc golfers get caught up in the euphoria of acquiring new discs. Whether consciously or inadvertently, they find that those seemingly innocent slabs of plastic multiply faster than expected. Could it be they are breeding? You have a yellow disc, a blue disc, you leave the room, and come back to find a green disc has joined the collection. Or at least it would seem. At first your significant other is impressed with your newfound desire to spend more time outside, getting a little exercise. Then suddenly they find themselves wondering why they can’t walk through a room without stepping on stray discs.
You didn’t set out to be like this, but somehow it happened. You bought a few, then a few more. You found a few (without name and phone numbers, of course) and tossed them into the trunk with the others. Your friends lent you some to try, and you’re not sure they all got back home again– after all, your friends are having the same problem and can’t keep track of their plastic either. Some show up in player packs for tournaments you keep entering. And sure, they must be breeding, because you have no idea where some of those discs came from! Were you delirious or inebriated when you found that cool online disc shop and started adding every swirly, sparkly, limited edition that popped up on your screen like an exotic slice of plastic heaven?
Now that you are absolutely swimming in discs, you face a very common dilema. Where are you going to put them all? You need to carry some around for your gameplay. That is a must. But you also need to store the ones you aren’t using in a manner that is better than the heap in the trunk of your car and the multi-colored, uneven floor tile that is taking over your abode. Well, here are some solutions for you, because that’s what I’m here for– to offer you solutions, and a virtual shoulder to cry on when you find out how much this is going to cost.
First, let’s talk about what you will carry around the disc golf course. Personally, I’ve been downsizing when it comes to the discs I use in gameplay. I am very aware that I am a minority in this regard, but I’ve noticed that I play better when I don’t have so many choices when it comes selecting a disc for any given shot. So, most of the time I am happy with a small shoulder bag, or a slim-style backpack that caries about 8-10 discs. I am currently a fan of the Infinite Discs Stealth Pack, which is lightweight, inexpensive, and functional with a
water Dr Pepper bladder built in. Before that, I used a large shoulder-strap bag which carried closer to 16-20 discs. It worked wonderfully for most cases when I played in groomed parks, but it was a bit laborious and inconvenient for longer rounds or rougher terrain.
However, despite my downsizing, I can tell you that the majority of disc golfers are moving toward bigger and bigger modes of disc transport. They’ve moved from small shoulder bags, to large shoulder bags, to large backpacks, to larger backpacks, and on to disc golf carts, soon to be replaced by horse-drawn or motorized disc-wagons. I can understand the need for larger bags and carts when playing in a tournament, because you never know how many of your favorite, go-to discs you’ll throw into a pond during a competition. You’ll certainly need backups. Plus you may come up against one of those one-in-a-hundred shots that requires a very specific utility disc that will save par on the hole. When you’re in a heated competition, you can never really have too many options, so you might as well bring a whole truckload of discs, if you can.
But here is the news that you probably don’t want to hear– the bags and backpacks, and even those expensive $300 carts, somehow find a way of out-dating themselves and becoming obsolete within a few months, at best. No sooner than you upgrade to your first backpack, you find a reason that you need a bigger, better, softer, firmer, more luxurious backpack with the cool new color designs! Personally, I’ve sworn not to dump more than $100 on a backpack unless it does my dishes and folds the laundry, but I have been a personal witness to the insanity that sets in once you start down the dark, winding path of seeking new disc transport. You want a bigger bag, then you want a backpack, then you want a backpack cart so you can roll that backpack around, rather than putting it on your back, which is what a backpack is made for, so why would you buy a backpack just to put in a cart so it has wheels??? Come on! Then you decide that rolling your backpack around isn’t enough, because you want the backpack to be built-in to your cart so you can fit more discs into it, and have a seat to park you butt on during long rounds, and carry around a few drinks, and prop up your umbrella when it rains (like you’ll really stick around when it starts raining), and slap on a saddle-bag for more putters, and hook-up your Bluetooth speaker, and hook up your propane grill so you can cook some steaks between rounds, and so on, and so on. You thought I was going to give you hope? Right!
We’re all idiots. We can’t help ourselves when buying discs, so how could we possibly hope to refrain ourselves from seeking more and more options for lugging them around? I’m going to be honest with you. Yes, I have a slim, Stealth bag, and I love it. That’s why I want three more, because they come in four colors. I want to have different bags with different disc selections. Wouldn’t it be fun to grab a different pre-stocked bag for different game situations, rather than switching discs around from bag to bag? Sure it would! And what do I have on my basement floor right now? I have a small bag with twelve discs shoved in it that I never use. I have a big shoulder bag that I used to use, packed with another 20 discs I forgot I had. I have a medium-sized shoulder bag loaded with eighteen different distance drivers that I like to take to a field to throw back-and-forth when I don’t have time for a full round of disc golf. Plus I have three duffle-style practice bags that are made to hold up to forty discs each, just for storage! These are discs that I have as extras, back-ups, old discs, collectible discs, and discs I honestly don’t remember buying. And I still have unbagged discs piled in the back of my mini-van, falling off shelves in the storage room, and irritating my family whenever they walk through the basement. I confess! There are not enough “steps” in any addiction program to solve this problem.
Maybe if I got a new disc cart I could simply put them in there?
Chapter 1 – Why Do We Play?
Chapter 2 – Be the Basket / Be the Disc
Chapter 3 – It’s Always the Disc’s Fault
Chapter 4 – Achieving True Disc Lust
Chapter 5 – The Need for Companionship
Chapter 6 – Rules of Communication
Chapter 7 – Keeping Score
Chapter 8 – Disc Golf and Sports Injuries
Chapter 9 – Disc Prejudice and Brand Elitism
Chapter 10 – Golf with Frisbees
Chapter 11 – Properly Marking Your Disc
Chapter 12 – Crash Course Course Design
Chapter 13– Maintaining Relationships Outside of Disc Golf
Chapter 14 – How to Carry Your Plastic
Chapter 15 – Are You Ready for Tournament Play?
Chapter 16 – Pros are People Too
Chapter 17 – Loving the Hazards
Chapter 18 – Coping With Loss